Pendragon (band)

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Nick Barrett at BalticProgFest (2008-07-25)1.jpg
Nick Barrett in festival "Baltic Prog Fest 2008" in Kernavė, Lithuania on 25 July 2008. Performing acoustic program with Clive Nolan.
Background information
Origin Stroud, Gloucestershire, England
Genres Neo-progressive rock, progressive metal
Years active 1978-present
Labels Metal Mind, Toff Records, Inside Out, Snapper
Members Nick Barrett
Peter Gee
Clive Nolan
Craig Blundell
Past members John Barnfield
Alan Gyorffy
Nigel Harris
Matt Anderson
Rick Carter
Fudge Smith
Joe Crabtree
Scott Higham
Pendragon, 2010, Aschaffenburg
Nick Barrett, Vocals, Guitar, founder of Pendragon, 2010 in Aschaffenburg
Peter Gee, bass guitar, 2010
Scott Higham, drums, 2010

Pendragon are an English neo-progressive rock band established in 1978 in Stroud, Gloucestershire as Zeus Pendragon by guitarist and vocalist Nick Barrett. The Zeus was dropped before the band started recording as the members decided it was too long to look good on a T-shirt.[1] There were a few personnel changes in the early days, but since 1986 the lineup has remained relatively stable (with only the drummer changing twice since then) and the band is still active as of 2014.


The band were active in the progressive rock revival spearheaded by the likes of Marillion, Pallas, Solstice and Twelfth Night in the early 1980s,[2] and indeed (like their peers IQ) often appeared as support acts to Marillion and other major neo-prog bands, both on tours and at the famous Marquee venue which hosted many regular prog evenings. After their debut album, The Jewel, the band pursued a more commercial direction, documented in the Kowtow album and the Red Shoes and Saved By You EPs, but despite these efforts failed to break through to a mainstream audience.

In 1991 the band established their own label, Toff Records,[citation needed] and released the archival release The Rest of Pendragon, a collection of EP tracks, and the studio album The World, in which they returned to a more progressive style that the band would continue to develop over their next three studio albums, The Window of Life, The Masquerade Overture, and Not Of This World.

From this point on their fortunes have improved, and whilst they are still relatively obscure in their home country they have a significant following in Europe; in particular, they have managed to develop a strong fanbase in Poland, and have both released at least one compilation specifically for the Polish market and recorded several live albums there.

In 2002 the band released Acoustically Challenged, documenting an "unplugged" session with a number of the band's songs retooled for acoustic instruments, which was originally broadcast on Radio 3 Warsaw. This was considered an unusual move for a prog rock band, since progressive rock tends to focus a lot on the use of electronic synthesisers and electric guitars; however, the melodic qualities of the band's compositions proved to be well-suited to an acoustic context, and the album was reasonably successful. This heralded a new willingness to experiment on the part of the band, following a run of studio albums all broadly in the same vein as "The World". On 2005's Believe they took their music in a somewhat darker direction, causing a certain amount of controversy amongst their fans. 2008's Pure refined the style of Believe and was extremely well received by the progressive rock fandom, being voted Album of the Year 2008 on DPRP.[3] On the community website Pure enjoyed the current "most popular album" spot for a period in 2008, and remains in the site's top 10 prog releases of 2008 (as voted by site users).

Recently, Pendragon released a live album and DVD, Concerto Maximo, shot in Katowice, on 13 October 2008. It was filmed and edited by Metal Mind. It was released in several versions - a 2 CD release, featuring just the audio from the show, a DVD, featuring the full show, and a DVD and 2 CD special edition, which was limited to 1000 copies.

In October 2010, the band started recording the follow-up to their 2008 release Pure. The album is called Passion and was released in the spring of 2011. The successor of Passion should be out in 2014.

In April 2014 the band announced that have parted ways with drummer Scott Higham for "personal reasons".[4]


Current members
  • Nick Barrett - guitars, vocals (1978–present)
  • Peter Gee - bass (1978–present)
  • Clive Nolan - keyboards, vocals (1986–present)
  • Craig Blundell - drums (2014–present)
Former members
  • John Barnfield - keyboards (1978–1984)
  • Rick Carter - keyboards (1984–1986)
  • Alan Gyorffy - drums (1978)
  • Nigel Harris - drums (1978–1984)
  • Matt Anderson - drums (1984–1986)
  • Fudge Smith - drums (1986–2006)
  • Joe Crabtree - drums (2006–2008)
  • Scott Higham - drums (2008–2014)



Title Album details Peak chart positions
The Jewel
  • Released: 1985
  • Label: Elusive Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download[7]
  • Released: 1988
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, digital download[8]
The World
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS
The Window of Life
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[9]
The Masquerade Overture
  • Released: September 10, 1996[10]
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[11]
Not of This World
  • Released: June 12, 2001[12]
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[13]
  • Released: October 18, 2005[14]
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[15]
  • Released: October 1, 2008
  • Label: Toff Records, Mad Fish
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, LP, digital download[16]
  • Released: April 19, 2011[17]
  • Label: Snapper Music, Mad Fish
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, LP, digital download[18]
Men Who Climb Mountains
  • Released: October 2014[19]
  • Label: Snapper Music, Mad Fish
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
9:15 Live
  • Released: 1986
  • Label: EMI
  • Formats: CD
The Very, Very Bootleg
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD
Utrecht... The Final Frontier
  • Released: 1995
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD
Live In Krakow 1996
  • Released: 1997
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD
Acoustically Challenged
  • Released: April 22, 2002[20]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: CD
Out of Order Comes Chaos
  • Released: February 25, 2013[21]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: CD

Video albums[edit]

Title Video details
Live at Last... And More
  • Released: May 14, 2002[22]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD
And Now Everybody to the Stage
  • Released: October 31, 2006[23]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD+CD
Past and Presence
  • Released: April 16, 2007[24]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD
Concerto Maximo
  • Released: February 23, 2009[25]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD+CD
Out of Order Comes Chaos
  • Released: September 17, 2012[26]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD, Blu-ray


Title Album details
Fly High, Fall Far
  • Released: January 16, 1984[27]
  • Label: Elusive Records
  • Formats: LP
Red Shoes
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: Awareness Records
  • Formats: LP
Saved by You
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD, LP
Fallen Dreams And Angels
  • Released: April 26, 1994[28]
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD
As Good As Gold
  • Released: April 17, 1996[29]
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD

Compilations albums[edit]

Title Album details
The R(B)est of Pendragon
  • Released: October 21, 1991[30]
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD
Overture 1984 - 1996
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Outer Music
  • Formats: CD
Once Upon a Time in England Volume 1 & 2
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Toff Records
  • Formats: CD
The History: 1984 - 2000
  • Released: March 6, 2000[31]
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: CD
Introducing Pendragon
  • Released: April 22, 2013[32]
  • Label: Snapper Music
  • Formats: CD


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Guardian - Go back to go forward: the resurgence of prog rock
  3. ^ "DPRPoll 2008". Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
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  20. ^,466811,title,Accoustically-Challenged,plyta.html
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  27. ^,4923,title,Fly-High-Fall-Far,plyta.html
  28. ^,51809,title,Fallen-Dreams-And-Angels,plyta.html
  29. ^,16659,title,As-Good-As-Gold,plyta.html
  30. ^,16422,title,The-Rest-Of-Pendragon,plyta.html
  31. ^,116
  32. ^

External links[edit]